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With emerging technology enhancing entertainment in exciting but unprecedented ways, it’s clear that a new era has been sparked within the creative industries.

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The traditional ways of consuming or interacting with content have evolved, pushing us into a new realm of experimental entertainment marked by virtual venues, metaverse performances, and live concert experiences in our living rooms.

This change brings unique challenges but also transformative opportunities and raises some big questions: Is technology changing entertainment for better or worse? Will AI replace employees? Or will it support them to unlock new levels of expression, creativity and innovation?

At the most recent instalment in our Future Talks series – where we delved into the topical issues defining tomorrow’s world – we explored all of these areas and more, asking experts to answer the pressing question: ‘Is Technology Killing Entertainment?’

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The event saw an abundance of captivating conversations and networking opportunities; bringing innovators and industry leaders from the worlds of technology, media, televised sport, theatre, advertising and education together on our campus in our innovation centre, Plexal, to imagine what the future of entertainment might look like.

Here East COO, Mike Magan’s opening remarks set the scene for the event and underlined why Here East was the ideal backdrop for these fascinating discussions:

“I truly believe London is the best city for the entertainment industry – brimming with some of the strongest talent and brightest minds. I believe nothing better represents this innovation and creativity in London than this very campus. Here East is a microcosm of London’s innovative spirit, we have grown to over 6,500 people on our campus over the last decade and this convening power is important to us.”

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A fireside chat at the event saw one of the UK’s top journalists, Katie Prescott, who is the Technology Business Editor at The Times, joined by television industry veteran and VP Content and Host at Broadcast Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, Jamie Hindhaugh, discuss the evolving dynamic between the technology and entertainment industries and how the landscape may evolve going forwards.

Katie and Jamie’s conversation covered everything from AI’s potential to replace creativity, to whether linear TV’s days could be numbered, sharing insights on how technology can also aid data capture, bridge labour shortages, and enhance personalisation.

The evening also featured a lively panel discussion moderated by Katie, featuring panellists including Adam Perry, Tutor & Consultant at LMA, Ruth Mortimer, Global President of Advertising Week Europe, Suhair Khan, Chair of Studio Wayne McGregor, and Solomon Rogers, Global Director of Innovation at Magnopus.

This panel saw experts sharing their perspectives on whether technology is killing entertainment, debating topics such as the democratisation of technology; what it means to be creative; how the industry can navigate change; and London’s role as a hub of technology and creativity.

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To mark the event, Here East CEO, Gavin Poole penned a piece exploring whether technology is changing entertainment for better or worse. Looking into the entertainment industry’s evolution and how to navigate the path ahead, Gavin wrote:

“Whether it’s exploring ancient civilisations through AR-enhanced museum exhibits, or stepping into the shoes of a character in a VR game, there is no doubt that technology is enhancing entertainment in new ways – personalising experiences, adding new dimensions, and creating a competitive edge by differentiating itself from more antiquated forms of media. Just as Spotify trumped iTunes, which usurped CDs, which replaced record players – innovation always prevails, and oftentimes improves.”

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Like with all events in our Future Talks series, where we have explored pressing questions on AI, the metaverse, and smart cities, this evening provided a fantastic opportunity to put possibility into perspective and imagine what the future of entertainment might look like.

However, beyond examining how technology is changing entertainment, these discussions also brought vital clarity to how we can leverage it as a catalyst for positive impact – enhancing the industry and the ways consumers experience it.

As a hub of innovation, collaboration and creativity, we’re thrilled to use our convening power to bring conversations on the transformative power of technology to East London. Which technology trend shaping the future will we explore next at Here East?

Stay tuned for updates on the fifth event in our Future Talks series in the near future to find out.

A special thanks to Love Language for making this event more accessible with British Sign Language. Learn more about Love Language in our 2022/23 Impact Report.

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